Who says a chicken coop is just for chickens?
Because there's at least one chicken coop out there that now doubles as a kitten coop.
According to Micah and Allyson Radach, a tiny kitten first appeared at the Radach home in Garfield, Minnesota in mid-November.
"One day after school he just randomly showed up at our house underneath our trampoline...So we went to get pancakes and milk (to feed the kitten)," says seven-year-old Lylah Radach, one of the couple's two daughters.
Lylah and her four-year old sister, Rhea, quickly bonded with the kitten. The kitten's white and gold coat earned him the name Caramel.
Caramel stuck around the Radach home, eventually making his way over to the chicken coop, home to the Radach family's nine chickens.
"One day I came home in the afternoon and the chickens were out by the big shed and the cat was right by them," says Micah Radach. "Wherever they'd go, he'd go."
The family believes the heat lamp in the coop is initially what attracted Caramel. It was a nice, warm escape from the cold winter days.
As time passed, however, it became clear to the family that the warmth of the coop wasn't the only thing keeping Caramel there. It was also the company. Caramel and the chickens genuinely seemed to enjoy each other.
"One time I went in there and he was actually laying on the eggs over the nesting boxes...I've also seen him snuggled up against one chicken in the corner," says Allyson.
The Radachs had not planned on adding a cat to the family, but they've welcomed Caramel with open arms. Even Newt, the family dog, seems happy to have Caramel around. The family sees Caramel's unexpected arrival as a gift.
Micah sees Caramel's ability to make friends with just about everyone (human and otherwise), regardless of their obvious differences, is a lesson worth learning.
"These animals are a perfect example of how they are very different in most ways, but very similar in a way that they are accepting each other's differences and now have become friends...They have adapted each other and have respect for each other. More importantly, they now seem to enjoy each other," he says.
Photos courtesy of Beth Leipholtz/Echo Press
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